Bushman Dreyfus Architects

Bushman Dreyfus Architects

Charlottesville, VA


Contemporary Barn

2019 Virginia AIA Honor Award for Excellence in Residential Design

The owner of this residence, who retains fond memories of vast table-flat spaces from growing up in Iowa, asked for a structure combining the welcoming openness of a contemporary house with the geometries of simple barn. Tucked at the end of a long field, the house is protected by a slight rise in the land to the west. The simple design concept of placing main living spaces and private bedrooms in separate volumes links the two wings with a well-organized kitchen. In doing so, the southern living space becomes a pavilion that enjoys expansive glass openings to the west and south, shaded by generous porches and overhangs, a seamless extension of a small manicured lawn. In the manner of simple vernacular structures, vertical cypress siding laps slightly over window frames, without casing or trim. Rake and eave boards and window sills are covered in sheet copper. Cypress, copper and stone on the exterior are complimented on the interior by doors, windows and cabinets in white oak.

Energy loads are kept to a minimum through shading and careful site placement, and also through the structure’s technical details. Super-insulated triple-pane glass fills the window openings. The roof is insulated to twice the code minimum. Mechanical systems and lighting are specified for efficiency. The small amount of energy required by the structure is more than covered by a grid-tied solar array.

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Status: Built
Location: Free Union, VA, US
Firm Role: Architect
Additional Credits: Ralph Dammann (GC)
John Semmelhack (Energy)
Alterra (Solar PV array)
Photography: Will Kerner, Stephen Barling